Barbara Simpson read her review live on bookshow on 9th May 2013
Like most of the rest of the world I read "A Woman of Substance" when it came out and enjoyed it but later works by this author I have found to be a rehash of that first, hugely successful novel. So, when a friend recommended this book I was a bit dubious but gave it a go and was very pleased I did. It's a really absorbing read, perfect for holidays, well written, with a plot that is never predictable.
Justine Nolan opens a letter addressed to her mother who is away on business. It is from a woman whose name is unfamiliar to her and contains a shocking revelation that will change everything she and her twin brother Richard, believe about their family's recent history.
Justine travels to Istanbul to meet the woman who wrote the letter and to find her beloved grandmother whom she and Richard believed to be dead. Once joyfully reunited, Justine is given a book of reminisceneces written by her grandmother, Gabrielle, revealing the awful truth about her childhood - the dreadful suffering and loss she endured.
Everything is vividly described , very thoughly and well researched and the story moves at a cracking pace, holding the readers attention from start to finish. Ok, maybe most of the lead characters are slightly too good to be true but does that really matter? this is a great entertainment and as I said before, perfect escapist holiday reading.